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Telenor spends less

New Delhi, Nov. 18: Lower equipment cost has helped Telenor to prune its India investments plans by a hefty Rs 3,500 crore from the earlier estimate of Rs 15,500 crore, spread over five years.

The Norwegian telecom firm, which owns a majority stake in Unitech Wireless, is set to launch mobile services in December.

“The targeted rollout combined with better terms from equipment vendors will reduce the capital expenditure requirement. Accumulated capex for the first five years will be reduced by around Rs 3,000-3,500 crore. The earlier communicated peak funding of Rs 15,500 crore is now expected to be lower,” Telenor said in a statement.

“The market share ambition and other financial targets, including EBITDA, break-even by three years after launch and operating cash flow break-even around five years after launch are still valid,” it said.

Telenor, which will start operations under the Uninor brand, has licences and spectrum for 22 telecom circles. It is starting with eight circles next month — four in south India, Uttar Pradesh (east and west), Orissa and Bihar.

Telenor has signed agreements with around 1,000 distributors and 3,00,000 points of sale and installed around 12,000 base stations.

It plans to leverage its experience in Malaysia, Thailand, Pakistan and Bangla-desh. The company is the second largest foreign operator in the US.

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